Parishes join in prayers for the en­vi­ron­ment

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ANGLI­CANS JOINED with Chris­tians around the world to pray for Cre­ation

Care this week. The Church of Eng­land’s lead Bishop on the En­vi­ron­ment, the Rt Rev Ni­cholas Holtam, urged con­gre­ga­tions to take part.

Pope Fran­cis an­nounced an an­nual world day of prayer to be ob­served on 1 Septem­ber in a let­ter to the Pon­tif­i­cal Coun­cil’s for Jus­tice and Peace and Pro­mo­tion of Chris­tian Unity.

In his let­ter, the Pope says he stands with Ec­u­meni­cal Pa­tri­arch Bartholomew in call­ing for ‘an eco­log­i­cal con­ver­sion whereby the ef­fects of their en­counter with Je­sus Christ be­come ev­i­dent in their re­la­tion­ship with the world around them.’

The sug­ges­tion of a joint Catholic-Ortho­dox “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Cre­ation” was said to come from the Metropoli­tan Ioan­nis Zizioulas of Perga­mum, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Ec­u­meni­cal Ortho­dox Pa­tri­arch Bartholomew.

The Church of Eng­land Synod voted to ‘en­cour­age prayer and fast­ing for cli­mate jus­tice’ on the first day of ev­ery month at this year’s York Synod, and as a call to the CofE’s re­newed com­mit­ment to Cli­mate Change, Bishop Holtam is call­ing on con­gre­ga­tions to fast and pray for the cre­ation.

“It will do us all good to stop, fast, think and pray about the need to care for God’s good but frag­ile cre­ation. We live at a time when hu­man ac­tiv­ity has caused a dra­matic re­duc­tion in the earth’s bio­di­ver­sity and when peo­ple are caus­ing cli­mate change through our prof­li­gate use of fos­sil fu­els.

“A con­sen­sus has emerged about the need to move to a low car­bon econ­omy,” the Bishop said.

The is­sue is find­ing sup­port from other faith groups too. Last month Is­lamic lead­ers from 20 coun­tries signed a Dec­la­ra­tion urges gov­ern­ments to de­liver a strong, new in­ter­na­tional cli­mate agree­ment in Paris this De­cem­ber.

Mean­while, mem­bers of the Angli­can Com­mu­nion En­vi­ron­men­tal Net­work will also be join­ing con­gre­ga­tions in prayer.

The ACEN met in South Africa in Fe­bru­ary where they drafted ‘The World is Our Host: A call to ur­gent ac­tion for cli­mate jus­tice”.

In the doc­u­ment signed by Angli­can Bish­ops world­wide, mem­bers asked Angli­cans to ob­serve a day of fast­ing and prayer as an ‘in­te­gral part of life and wor­ship.’

The Arch­bishop of Cape Town and Pri­mate of the Angli­can Church of South­ern Africa, the Most Rev Dr Thabo Mak­goba, made the fol­low­ing com­mit­ment: “I fast in sol­i­dar­ity with chil­dren who will go to bed hun­gry tonight be­cause their par­ents can­not af­ford the ris­ing prices of food; I fast in sol­i­dar­ity with cli­mate refugees who have lost their homes and liveli­hoods due to cli­mate change; And I fast in sol­i­dar­ity with peo­ple of faith around the world be­cause we know that hope is ris­ing.”

Bishop Holtam said that ‘What­ever the sci­en­tific, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal dif­fi­cul­ties at root’ Cli­mate Change is a ‘spir­i­tual prob­lem’.

“Prayer helps clar­ify what we want and strength­ens our de­ter­mi­na­tion for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

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